Hammer & Tongues unveils online shopping mall

LOCAL auctioneer Hammer and Tongues (H&T) has launched an online shopping mall in the capital, with the group hoping to boost revenues three-fold within a year.

Its chief executive, Brian Makwabarara, told journalists in the capital that the online mall had initially been an online auction platform, but then evolved into a mall after the auctioneer partnered with various service providers.

“This has been in the pipeline for about two years, the accepted payment platforms are ZimSwitch, Visa, MasterCard and PayPal. We have allowed other companies to sell on our platform for a commission,” Makwabarara said.

Some of the companies in partnership with the auctioneer in this venture are retailer, OK Mart, Croco Motors, Tiles for Africa and uniform retailer Enbee.

“We are now moving away from the traditional auctioneering we have been known for, we are now also providing a platform for consumers to buy brand new products,” the H&T chief executive said.

The group has also engaged several Japanese car retailers so that consumers can also access second hand cars from Japan on the virtual mall.

“As most of you may have noticed, a lot of people are now buying cars via various websites from Japan, what we have decided to do is to make the process easier for the consumer, they engage us as an agent through the mall and we process their orders. In this way, consumers know who they are dealing with and who to turn to in the event of a fault in their purchase,” he said

The H&T boss also said the group had received a licence from the Agriculture ministry to auction various grains on the platform in the wake of an impending drought.

“We are going to auction 100 tonnes of maize tomorrow (today) as soon as the system goes live, this is because the ministry of agriculture has authorised us to sell grains,” he said.

The mall will sell all goods from perishables, furniture, electricals and properties.

“The main aim is to make sure that consumers get goods at a lower price than the retail. Ideally, in countries where online shopping is dominant, goods are as low as 40 percent compared to the retail price,” Makwabarara said.

Local ICT experts say the introduction of the multiple currency system in Zimbabwe made online shopping simpler.

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